#NaPoWriMo Entry #3: “To a Gay Child”

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Today’s entry was inspired by this article.  Read it before or after if you so choose.

Now for the poem:

“To a Gay Child”

He dreamed about being a doctor —
or a writer, or an actor, or maybe something else —
does it matter what he dreams
as much as it matters that he dreams at all?
For is not the dream where all of us find
a better world?
The world we want to live in.
The world we wish could be real.

So he dreams that he might meet a man —
become a father, have a house, a career,
all the things the rest of us hope for —
and he’s told by those whose mouths
are too big for their feet:
No! Never! Ever! Ever!

No…who would have thought two letters
could become the discourse of a nation?
To overshadow every other way
we can conceive of the future?
That two letters could destroy that same future,
like cannons against a matchstick wall…
That dreams could become the self-serving devices
of a dying empire…

Are his dreams empty gestures from a forlorn soul?
The candle-lit whispers flickering
in the drafty tomb of someone else’s life?
Stolen by the specter of a gnarled tree yet to bloom…

The new religion:  a curled path up the mountain of man,
through the spider’s den of glass spires.
To steal his dreams, to replace them
with the facsimile of a self.
Is it any wonder that his wrists turn into mouths,
speaking blood letters to the constricted face of the rope?

He dreams for the relief from the last breath
in a body wracked by doubt.
He dreams because
that is all he has left…

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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